The United States Army is looking for a new sidearm and is considering replacing the M9 after more than 30 years of service.
Officially adopted by the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force in the 1980s, over 600,000 M9 pistols have been delivered to the military by Beretta. After the remaining 20,000 under contract are delivered, the U.S. Army is considering replacing the M9 pistol as its standard sidearm.
The U.S. Army recently announced that it will be formally requesting proposals for a new standard-issue sidearm in January of 2015. So far, Smith & Wesson, partnered with General Dynamics, has indicated that they will enter the popular M&P pistol in the competition. If adopted, the polymer M&P would be a radical departure from the aluminum framed Beretta.
Additionally, Beretta has also stated that they will be submitting a proposal into the competition as well. Though they have not made formal announcements yet, it is also possible that Glock, Sig Sauer (whose P226 barely lost to the M9 in the trials in the 1980s), and Colt will also enter their pistols in the competition.
At this time, the Army has not given any indication if they are going to change the caliber of the new sidearm, or stick with 9mm Luger.
The M9 was a controversial choice for the military when it was first adopted and has no share of detractors among members of the military who have expressed their concerns about the capabilities of the pistol in combat. Especially when compared to the M1911 (which it replaced), there seems to be little love for the M9 pistol in most military circles.
I can speak from personal experience that many members of the service would be absolutely thrilled if the military were to adopt the M1911 (or at least another pistol chambered in .45 ACP).
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